About the Precepts Recommitment Ceremony (Ryaku Fusatsu)

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39237

    About the Precepts Recommitment Ceremony (Ryaku Fusatsu)


    For several years, we have maintained a Precepts Recommitment Ceremony (Ryaku Fusatsu, 略布薩, literally "Abbreviated 略 Spreading 布 Benevolence 薩, a Precepts Gathering), guided by our Rev. Kokuu, which he describes here:

    From the time of the early Buddhist sangha, monks and nuns would gather at the time of the full and new moon to confess wrongdoing and atone for their actions. There was also a recital of the 227 parts of the Prātimokṣa (rules of monastic discipline) and, for lay people, a chance to follow the same rules as ordained Buddhists for a period of twenty-four hours. In Pali these days were known as Uposatha and were a time for both monastic and lay people to intensify their practice.

    The practice of Uposatha was transmitted to other Buddhist countries and in Japanese Sōtō Zen became Ryaku Fusatsu, which translates as “abbreviated or simple ceremony to continue doing good”. According to the Gyōji Kihan (Standard Observances of the Sōtō School), this ceremony of confession and recommitting to the precepts is performed on the fifteeth and thirtieth/thirty-first days of each lunar month, which correspond to the full and new moons. The confessions and avowal parts of the original ceremony remain, but instead of the Prātimokṣa, there is a recommittal to the sixteen precepts of Zen which are taken at Jukai and as part of Shukke Tokudo (home-leaving ordination). We confess our past failings, and seek to do better for the future, all while recognizing our frail human nature, casting all into Emptiness as well. Thus, our atonement is also sometimes said to be our “at-one-ment” too. All comes down to you heart, and your sincere vow to do better as one can in the future.

    Many western Zen sanghas offer a Ryaku Fusatsu ceremony at the time of the full moon and we will be doing the same at Treeleaf. Attendance is purely optional but we hope that you will take the opportunity to recite and recommit to the precepts as well as atoning for any wrong-doing over the previous month. Even if you choose not to attend every month, feel free to join in at any point you feel called to.

    If you need a copy of the ceremony please send me a message.

    Deep bows
    Kokuu

    From the time of the early Buddhist sangha, monks and nuns would gather at the time of the full and new moon to confess wrongdoing and atone for their actions. There was also a recital of the 227 parts of the Prātimokṣa (rules of monastic discipline) and, for lay people, a chance to follow the same rules as ordained
    Ryaku Fusatsu presents an opportunity to recognize and quietly reflect upon all our past actions (karma) for good and bad, to renew the Precepts, and to re-dedicate ourselves to the practice and path of the Bodhisattva Vows. It need not be a public confession, but is done as a silent, personal, sincere atonement within our own hearts, much resembling a short version of our Jukai Ceremony in content. Our Ryaku Fusatsu ceremonies are conducted about monthly, here:


    Gassho, J

    stlah
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-07-2022, 02:09 AM.
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